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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's a 2004, Passion Red with 104,000 miles. I paid $8300 for it.





I'm not usually much for pinstripes, but I like this one...




Only issue is I won't be able to pick it up until Saturday. The car is in Massachusetts, I'm in PA, and there's some musical chairs that have to happen to get it titled in PA and transfer the plate from my late M3 to this car.

Now, onto the other stuff...the exhaust is going to need to be replaced soon, as will 2 of the 4 tires (it has one odd-ball tire, the other 3 are pretty decent looking Falkens). The Falkens aren't my favorite, but they're probably only a season old, so it's hard to justify buying 4 new tires, and it's hard to sell 3 of a kind. It gives me a spare as well, I suppose.

So, knowing that, I've got somewhere in the neighborhood of $1500 to $2000 to play with. $350 of that or so will go to tires, so I'm figuring I have about $1500 for some go-fast parts. Reflashes all seem to be in the $900 range, any opinions on which is better? Are intakes worth it, or would I get a decent sound and better turbo response with just the K&N wire tied to the front inlet that I see around here? Should I get a heat shield to block the hot engine air or is it not that bad?

Exhaust, I've read that it is probably best to just go custom. I'm only going to do a cat-back for now, I don't want anything terribly loud, just in the neighborhood of what my M3 was stock, or maybe a bit louder than that. I have seen some other OBX something or others on ebay as well...are those decent or should you stick to custom or one of the bigger companies?

Lowering springs? How hard are those to install yourself and does it make the car bouncy? I've seen time and time again on VWs that it gets almost undriveable on harsher roads.

Just looking for opinions. I need to get some paint to do the center console, but it's not terrible. I also need some floor mats as well...and I'd like to get some of that leatherique stuff I saw the tutorial on...seats are in really good shape and I'd like to keep it that way.

Suggestions?

Suspension is pretty low on my list, but there's quite a bit of wheel gap...I'm thinking I should be able to do a reflash, intake, and hopefully an exhaust, even if it's just the stock one. How is the sound if you just get the resonator cut out?
 

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First off, congrats on the purchase- gobi or atacama interior? Manual or auto? I didn't put springs on my R, so someone else will have to chime in, but get agressive sway bars right meow. That's the biggest handling bang for the buck.

W/regards to the exhaust. I'd say cut off the resonator for safety reasons (search EBD on this site) and see how you like the sound. I'm bad for advice on exhausts since I don't find LOUD to be very loud. OBX sounds cheap to me, and I value sound quality very highly. My two favorites are the original Evolve exhaust and the new IPD one. All the rest are too burbly/bubbly and bassy to me. I really like the rasp that some M3 exhausts give (like the Dinan), and that's how the Evolve, and to an extent the newer Elevate exhausts sound IMO.

Just take off the foam sock on the filter, and if that isn't loud enough, take off the top of the filter box, and if that still isn't loud enough take off the hood blanket. Intakes seem to be a source of CEL's and not much more, as for heat shields, DIY?


Finally, I hate to break it to you, but it appears you have the 18's so budget AT LEAST $800 for tires since you need to replace all 4 at the same time. Since it's got a weird one on there, I suggest doing so immediately to hopefully prevent AWD failure (have you checked to make sure it's still AWD?).
 

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OBX DP, Custom Exhaust, and Tune will put you close to the $1500 range (slightly over but not by much), so thats definitely a good option given your budget. As far as lowering springs go, springs+advanced mode = lose of a few molars but you can definitely feel the road much better, not to mention it looks much better aesthetically. In sport or comfort mode, with Eibachs, I get a sort of "floaty" or "side hopish" sensation occasionally when I go over a bump. I have yet to get a recal so maybe that is attributed to that. Its a very unnerving feeling while driving but I am usually in advanced mode anyways so I don't worry about it.

As far as a resonator delete goes, it can run you between $50-100 depending on where you go and that is about 20-33% cost of a 3 inch custom exhaust installed. So in other words don't do what I did. If you know that you are going to be upgrading the exhaust in the future, don't do a res delete 48 hours after ownership.

In regards to your tune question, they all seem to be on an even playing field. Since my introduction to this site, I have yet to see a thread/post justifying why one tune is superior to the other. In other words, you will be happy with whatever you choose. I chose mine because Eurosport Tuning was offering a $100 rebate at the time of purchase, so I ended up getting mine for $805 but that was seriously the only basis on which I decided.
 

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Congratz on the purchase! In regards to tires, on AWD vehicles, all 4 must be replaced at the same time. If one is weird, that means that you're putting extra stress on the diff and angle gear which try to maintain equal speed for all 4 tires, so you're looking at around $700+ for all 4. More for good tires.
 

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Congratz on the purchase! In regards to tires, on AWD vehicles, all 4 must be replaced at the same time. If one is weird, that means that you're putting extra stress on the diff and angle gear which try to maintain equal speed for all 4 tires, so you're looking at around $700+ for all 4. More for good tires.
Measure the 3 good Falkens and see how much tread depth they have. If it is within 2/32" of a new tire, it is fine to just get 1 new one. Past that, you will need to replace all 4 or look into tire shaving at tire rack.
 

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no way, Hankook Evos will run $600 or get Sumitomos at $588 from TR. Both are VERY good tires.
 

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Congrats on the purchase! Where in PA are you located? There are a few of us PA SwedeSpeeders on here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just take off the foam sock on the filter, and if that isn't loud enough, take off the top of the filter box, and if that still isn't loud enough take off the hood blanket. Intakes seem to be a source of CEL's and not much more, as for heat shields, DIY?
Really? CELs from an intake...intriguing... I love the sound of a burley intake on an I-5...do you have any pics of the filder box off, etc? Are you saying to just leave the filter thrown in the open box? Does anything secure it?



Finally, I hate to break it to you, but it appears you have the 18's so budget AT LEAST $800 for tires since you need to replace all 4 at the same time. Since it's got a weird one on there, I suggest doing so immediately to hopefully prevent AWD failure (have you checked to make sure it's still AWD?).
I have checked to make sure it's still AWD and it is.

Congratz on the purchase! In regards to tires, on AWD vehicles, all 4 must be replaced at the same time. If one is weird, that means that you're putting extra stress on the diff and angle gear which try to maintain equal speed for all 4 tires, so you're looking at around $700+ for all 4. More for good tires.
Everything I've read says the Haldex 2nd gen system is robust enough within a certain tolerance. I've read 2/32ns of an inch (these tires look to be pretty close to new), replace the new ones on the front only since they get most of the wear and it will even itself out, or 3% overall diameter.

Now, my math says that it's about 25.4" overall diameter on our 235/40R18 tires, and that 3% of that would be around 3/4th of an inch. That means about 0.375 radius difference, i.e. how much of the tire is worn. That tolerance works out to around 12/32nds of an inch, so basically a bald tire vs. a new tire doesn't matter at all. I'm not that concerned, but I'll reinspect the tires before I make a decision. Like I said, I'm not a huge fan of the Falkens anyway...

no way, Hankook Evos will run $600 or get Sumitomos at $588 from TR. Both are VERY good tires.
I had Hankooks on my M3, and they lasted 5K miles on the rear and were really loud. Granted that was a 275/35R18, not a 235, but I don't want to be plowing through tires every season. Granted the camber on the M was pretty aggressive and the inner side work faster than the outer. Never checked the Sumitomos...I had Generals once on my old GLI and hated those...

I was looking at the Conti DWs or maybe an All Season...I'm not sure if I'd try to get winter wheels or just get all seasons yet.

Congrats on the purchase! Where in PA are you located? There are a few of us PA SwedeSpeeders on here.
I'm in the Carlisle area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Should add, I'm going to replace at least 2. I don't want uneven left to right, so what I'll likely do is replace the rear two (the mismatched ones) with 2 new Falkens, and move those to the front. Then put the two used Falkens on the back. Save the 5th Falken for a rainy day or something, and sell the generic 6th tire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
so not the fault of the tires, rather your alignment setup.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=149

Sumitomos rank better than my Hankooks. I had the Dunlop Sport Maxxs on another car and those were sublime, so I imagine the Sumitomos are great.
Hmmm...Maybe I'll have to check out the Sumitomos...or the Dunlops for that matter. I was looking at those Kumhos too...

What is the best handling all season tire?
 

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Before everyone starts throwing go-fast-ideas at you I would highly recommend doing a stage-0 tune up. Since this is a new car, I'd recommend making sure everything is at 'stage-0' before stressing anything further. Search for stage-0 threads as there are numerous accounts of what to make sure is properly working. Many items can be done by a 'weekend' mechanic (AKA DIY), and will ensure any future go-fast goodies provide the desired output and dont break anything. Nothing worse than tuning your car and having a part fail a few days/weeks into the enjoyment. That being said, here's what I have picked up from this site in the last 4 years, amongst other things.


Save the tune/flash for after you get a bigger diameter downpipe at the least. New tune will increase boost and cause some temp issues if you have stock DP on the car. Cheap DP's can be had (read OBX or custom) or you can pony up and get a middle price piece (Viva or Phuz). IPD and Evolve both sell quality products but are on the higher end of the distribution. There are some others offered but I would be speculating on the prices so wont include them here. Bottom line, DP's are DP's and you will get an argument that makes sense from both ends of the price distribution. Small problems with installs seem to be the biggest issue with the cheaper pipes so it's really a balance between a quick install/pricier part with 'better' welds, or a cheap pipe like OBX that can be replaced multiple times before you approach the same price of the other pipes. A full turbo-back system will run between $500 and $2000 depending on the brand you choose.



Intakes are fine on the car and will slightly improve throttle response and upper-end pull (but these will be quite minor) and most noticeably, will vocalize your induction system. Any CEL's are due to bad install or crappy products (at least as far as filters are concerned). Significant portions of the community here run K&N or a dry-flow element with the SNABB intake pipe sold through Viva. Both IPD and Evolve sell an AMS system (these have popped CEL's for a few members) that is gorgeous but $$$ and need supporting parts to really give any benefit other than sound and looks. Additionally, many have rigged up a cheap system referred to as the 'R-Kelly' mod developed by that named member. Consists of hosing that supplies positive pressure to the air box via the lower fog-light grills. Dont be scared from intake mods, they wont kill you.

Tunes are all in the same ballpark in terms of performance gained, but each vendor offers unique things. Viva and Ipd seem to have the majority of the market but ARD has just entered the scene with some extra-fun options and seems to be very competitive once the initial testers begin to report back; really nothing negative at this point. Like I said above, I'd recommend staying away from a tune until you have a few more supporting mods to go with it, especially since each significant mod after the tune needs to be accounted for, causing another version of the tune to be uploaded, which is usually about $75 - $100 depending on who you purchased through.

Good luck on the decision, I'd highly recommend looking into stage-0 items first but I am a conservative when it comes to my baby. Glad to see another Passion Red member car (and pay no attention to the Gobi haters if you have that interior, only color that looks good with the Passion Red IMHO).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Agreed on the color. I was planning on doing an oil change and maybe plugs, etc...for the Stage 0 stuff...and I'll clean the piping and what not...

I was looking at the whole stage 2 or stage 2+ package from Eurosport...but I feel like I'd be fine with a turboback like the VOI guy did...I don't mind loud, but I don't want a drone. I liked the rasp in my M3.

I agree that Gobi is all that looks good with the PR. I was looking at an Atac on a dark grey and that looked great. Nordkap does very little for me.
 

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While Eurosport does offer some nice packages, its much more cost efficient to piece together your own "stage 2". Since you mentioned a budget, I figured I would throw that out there for you. Nothing against them as a vendor, as thats where I bought my tune, but slightly a bit more pricey than other alternatives.

The only thing that sucks about going with a custom 3" setup from a hack shop is the tips are terrible compared to the "big name" exhaust systems. There was a bunch of rant threads a while ago about finding the perfect 3" exhaust tip but I don't think there was any conclusion reached. I have repeatedly thrown up in my mouth looking at mine, it looks like a Foldgers coffee can that was sprayed painted black and ovaled out by several hammer strikes. Sounds great though :D
 

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- I paid $550 shipped for my 18 inch Continental Extreme Contact DWS - best all around tire
THIS! I have these on my Saab and it's a tank....can go through any mess with those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah, there is no way to get dual tips from a custom, is there?
 

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not that are both staggered and angled properly :D IPD could make a mint by offering their oval systems tip, but I understand their not wanting to do such things.
 

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I agree with stormchasin'. Sway from mods, invest in Stage 0.

http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/what-is-stage-0.html

Any left over cash you have, keep it for maintenance reasons. Unless you have some good income, you may invest in mods as suggested above, but keep a safety net of at least $1500 annually for any repair needs.

If you MUST spend, get the iPD track spec sways & HD tKI or iPD endlinks and ~$100 for the R-Kelly intake with $65 K&N filter.
 
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